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Background documentationWhat is HTMLB? Locate this document in the navigation structure


HTMLB (HTML-Business for Java) provides a full set of easy-to-use Web controls. These guidelines describe the HTMLB controls, their types, usage, attributes, and how to set the attributes with the JSP-taglib and the classlib.

For each control there is a general page that describes its usage, types, and design-relevant attributes. A further page describes more technical issues, such as browser compatibility, editing possibility in the Style Editor, and accessibility issues. Thirdly, the Control API page provides a development-oriented view of the control with detailed descriptions of attributes and parameters.

In addition, there are pages that describe general interaction design aspects, such as page layout, correct usage of certain often-used controls, as well as hints on finding the right control for a given purpose.

Knowledge of Java, JSP (information can be found at internet address and HTML (information can be found at internet address is helpful when reading this document.

Basic Idea

HTMLB allows a design-oriented page layout. It is designed to overcome typical servlet problems, such as:

  • Visualization and business logic are not separate.

  • Content management consumes a lot of qualified manpower. Skills in HTML, CSS, JavaScript etc. are essential.

  • Development has to take care of different web clients and -versions.

  • Maintaining the corporate identity through out the whole application is hard to achieve.

  • Namespace conflicts with form elements

HTMLB provides the technological infrastructure for easy customer branding. See Customer Branding and Style Editor.

How it Works

HTML-Business for Java provides the user with an efficient set of controls - similar to Swing/AWT. The controls are based on servlets and JSP pages. The developer uses bean-like components or JSP tags. Renderer classes finally translate the components into HTML-commands.

To demonstrate the similarity from HTMLB to Swing/AWT some synonyms.




ContentPane, JFrame, JDialog






AWTEvent, InputEvent ...


It is basically the wrapping paper of your page and essential for the data transfer from the web client to the web browser and for the event handling. Controls in the form must have unique control names. The control names are generated by the HTML-Business for Java renderer - therefore you cannot use for example, JavaScript to manipulate the controls.


GUI elements that are used to build an application. The controls are placed in a form. Every control has different attributes that define the "look" of the control. Controls are checkboxes, radio buttons and grids to name a few.

Some HTMLB controls

This graphic is explained in the accompanying text.


Container contain controls. Containers can contain containers - nesting. A simple container would be a 'tray' containing a 'gridLayout'. The gridLayout contains 'textView' and 'inputField'.


Components can respond to user action. The response is called an event. An event usually causes a submit (sending the form from the web client to the web server). With the control that can create an event you specify the name of the event handling routine. The web server receives the form, analyzes it and calls the event handling routine which does the further processing.

Mobile Features

The mobile features enhance the functionality of HTML-Business for Java for mobile devices such as Pocket PCs, WAP-enabled mobile phones and other mobile device/browser combinations. The mobile features support a device-independent development of components for mobile devices by providing special rendering classes. These rendering classes handle the special features of different mobile devices and the browsers used.